The Resnick/Malzberg Dialogues #19: Workshops

NOTE: this article first appeared in the pages of SFWA Bulletin 159, Fall, 2003.

MIKE: Workshopping has almost become a cottage industry these days. There’s Clarion, of course. There’s Writers of the Future. I know Del Rey has an online workshop, and I assume other publishers do too. Worldcon almost always has a workshop. At least a dozen other conventions, some major, some incredibly minor have workshops. CompuServe has a workshop. Someone told me recently that there are more than a thousand professional and amateur writers’ workshops online.

I’ve got mixed emotions about workshops. Some work, some don’t. Some constitute a reasonable investment of a writer’s most precious capital—Time—and some constitute a total waste of it.

I’ve taught some workshops, I’ve led some workshops, I’ve observed some workshops, and I’ve participated in some workshops as a writer. I think I’ve got an idea of what separates the good ones from the bad ones, but since it’s a pretty subjective idea, I think I’d like to see your initial response to the notion and utility of workshops first.
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New collection is out

My latest collection, AWAY GAMES, consisting of 17 science fiction sport stories, is now available from Wordfire Press or any of the usual sources. Intro by Ken Liu.Away Ganes cover

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Another award nomination

Just found out that “Benchwarmer”, a collaboration between myself and Lezli Robyn, has been nominated for Catalan’s Ictineau Award as Best Translated Story (an award we also won back in 2011 with our “Soulmates”).

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Another sale

Just re-sold “The Boy Who Cried ‘Dragon!'” to Bryan Thomas Schmidt’s anthology, Choices.

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Just re-sold Soothsayer, the first of the Penelope Bailey books, to Arc Manor.

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Interview on No-Heavy-Lifting Sales

Here’s the link to an interview I just did on what I call “No-Heavy-Lifting Sales” (by which I mean reprints, foreign sales, audio sales, etc.). I think newcomers and hopeful writers may find it very useful:

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New story sold

Just sold a short story, “Tartaros”, to Bryan Thomas Schmidt’s forthcoming anthology, Mission: Tomorrow.

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I’ll be attending DragonCon in Atlanta on Labor Day weekend. If anyone wants to look me up, here’s my schedule:

Friday, August 29:

4:00 PM – Regency V – Hyatt

Pyr Rising (Me, Lou Anders, Joel Shepherd, Jon Sprunk,

Clay & Susan Griffith)


5:30 PM – Augusta 1-2 — Westin

Building Alternate Worlds and Times (Me, Cherie Priest,

S. M. Stirling, James R. Tuck, Delilal Dawson)


10:00 PM – Embassy D-F – Hyatt

Fightin’ and Writin’ (Me, John Ringo, Bob Mayer, Chris A. Jackson)


Saturday, August 30:

3:00 PM – sign at Larry and Sally’s table


Sunday, August 31 – 5:30 PM – Embassy D-F – Hyatt

Getting Invited Into Anthologies: (Me, Lynn Abbey, Lee Martindale,

S. M. Stirling, Stephen Antczak)




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The New Mystery Novel is Out

For those who wonder if a science fiction writer can turn out a decent mystery series, here’s a review excerpt of the just-released CAT ON A COLD TIN ROOF, third in the Eli Paxton series, from Publisher’s Weekly: “Good times ensue for fans of Cincinnati or old-school PI yarns or both.”

And from Kings River Life: “The genre-blending, award-winning author of numerous science fiction, fantasy, and mystery novels continues his streak of crafting unique characters, plots and places with his own distinct mark.”

And from “Cat on a Cold Tin Roof” is a quick and easy read filled with twists and turns that will keep you entertained and guessing from beginning to end. The characters are so believable you’d think they were your neighbors, friends, family. If you like your private investigators to be a little old fashioned (no computers, cell phones or GPS), smart, but with a sense of humor, then you’re in for a treat.”

And from “Mr. Resnick’s prose is so fluid and easy, you simply go along for the ride until the intricate and meticulously constructed plot keeps you glued to the page. The characters are very well developed, colourful and endearing, even those who would seem unlikely to fill the part. CAT ON A COLD TIN ROOF is the third book in the Eli Paxton Mysteries series; the author was new to me, and I’m very pleased to say that I am most definitely looking forward to the next book in the series!”

Not bad for its first couple of days of release.

The New Mystery Novel is Out

The New Mystery Novel is Out

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The Resnick/Malzberg Dialoges #18: Professionalism

NOTE: this article first appeared in the pages of SFWA Bulletin 158, Summer, 2003.

MIKE: Since I’ve been writing a column (elsewhere) for beginning writers, I’ve been asked, from time to time, exactly what a writer owes his editor and publisher, and what they in turn owe the writer.

First and foremost, of course, each of them owes a certain adherence to the terms of the contract. The writer owes his editor a manuscript of X number of words that bears at least a passing resemblance to the synopsis that was used to make the sale. The editor owes the writer his support and his best editorial judgment. The publisher owes the writer Z dollars upon acceptance, and whatever the contract calls for in terms of promotion.

But what else do they owe one another? What other obligations has a writer got—if any? How about an editor? A publisher? Are the terms of the contract the end-all be-all, other that a certain degree of civility, or are there certain general obligations of professionalism that accrue to every writer and editor and publisher, whether spelled out in terms of the contract or not?
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